Saturday Morning Tea

Long Jing Te Ji Dry Leaf 10-26-13

Good morning, dear tea friends! This morning’s tea is a well-known China green tea called Lung Jing, or Lung Ching, this particular lot called Lung Jing Te Ji. Te Ji means “superior grade.”

Long Jing Te Ji Steep 10-26-13

Lung Jing (Lung Ching, Long Jing) tea has a distinctive flat shape due to its unique processing. This flat shape is intentionally caused by the motion of the charcoal pan when the leaf is heated/fired to stop oxidation. Its name means “Dragon’s Well”, referring to the place where it has been traditionally grown. Legend has it that a Taoist priest in the 3rd century advised the local villagers to pray to the dragon of a local well to bring rain and end their drought. It worked and the well was named after that dragon. The Dragon’s Well monastery still stands in that spot to this day.

Long Jing Te Ji Wet Leaf 10-26-13

I steeped the leaf for 3 minutes in 180F water. After steeping, the leaf softened and revealed the beautiful, individual bud sets of this fine tea.

Long Jing Te Ji Teapot 10-26-13

The pale yellow-jade tea liquor has a nutty aroma with a light vegetal undertone. The flavor is clean and refreshing with notes of chestnut and sweet baby corn. The smoothness yields to a whisper of tang in the finish.

I could drink this lovely green tea all day.

Long Jing Te Ji Teabowl 10-26-13

I pulled out my Volmod Ceramics tea bowl to hold and honor this most excellent tea. I purchased it on a trip to Saugatuck, MI with my parents a couple of summers ago. So, not only do I get to enjoy a delicious tea this morning but in holding my tea bowl in my hands, I remembered some warm and wonderful memories.

Have a great week!

“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”

~L.M. Montgomery

Saturday Morning Tea

Iccha Kariban Dry Leaf 10-19-13

Good morning, dear tea friends! Another week has come and gone and we’re savoring some glorious fall weather here in New England. This morning’s tea is a Japanese green tea called Iccha Kariban. Its name loosely translates to “flower fragrance”.

Iccha Kariban Steep 10-19-13

Grown in the Kagoshima prefecture, located on the southwest tip of the island of Kyushu in Japan, this tea is the result of experimenting with select cultivars to create a unique batch of tea. It has been likened to a Taiwanese Pouchong.

Iccha Kariban Wet Leaf 10-19-13

I steeped the leaf for 3 minutes in 175F water. The wet leaf looks like steamed greens, which I have found is unique to Japanese greens.

A gentle floral fragrance drifted up from my glass teapot as I poured my first cup.

Iccha Kariban Teapot 10-19-13

The cup is smooth and light with flavor very much like a floral Pouchong or a lightly oxidized Oolong, like a Jade or Spring Dragon. That said, its flavor is much more vegetal with a little brothiness, distinguishing it as a Japanese green tea.

Iccha Kariban Teamug 10-19-13

I talk to many folks who would like to try a green tea for its health benefits, however, they’re not a fan of its vegetal, grassy taste. This would be a great tea to try as the pronounced floral quality places the vegetal taste more in the background than being one of the primary flavor notes.

I think the Tea Masters have done a lovely job of coming up with a unique Japanese green tea! Have a wonderful week.

“Human life is inherently creative. It’s why we all have different résumés. … It’s why human culture is so interesting and diverse and dynamic.”

~Ken Robinson

Saturday Morning Tea

White Mao Feng Dry Leaf 10-12-13Good morning, dear tea friends! As I sip my tea and glance out my window, I spy a flock of pigeons wheeling around against a sky of pale gray clouds. The high dome of cloud cover filters and softens the light so the changing fall colors on the trees really pop in fiery tones of red, orange and yellow. I’m not sure where that pigeon flock live. I see them now and again congregating on my neighbor’s high pitched roof.

This morning’s tea is from the Hunan province of China, a white tea called Organic China Mao Feng White tea. My first experience with a Mao Feng (translates to Hairy Mountain, hairy referring to the downy white hairs on the leaf) leaf was with a green tea and then with a black tea. Traditionally, Mao Feng, which refers to the large leaf’s processing and shape, was always processed as a green tea but is now being produced in black and white tea as well.

White Mao Feng Steep 10-12-13 I steeped the leaf for 4 minutes in 180F water. Because of the enormous size, I used approximately 2-3 teaspoons per cup in my glass teapot. It’s challenging to measure out tea leaf this big with a spoon so I pinch it and estimate. A tea scale would come in very handy with this tea. It’s on my wish list!

White Mao Feng Wet Leaf 10-12-13This particular leaf is a great example of how it’s twisted during processing. The length of the leaf, its twisted shape and the downy white hairs all contribute to its unique Mao Feng designation.

White Mao Feng Teapot 10-12-13

The tea liquor is a light golden color with a wonderful fruity aroma. I detected honeydew melon notes with my first sip and, as I sipped some more, the flavor progressed with some delicate peachy notes. The pronounced fruity flavor lingers long into the finish.

White Mao Feng Teabowl 10-12-13

The tea is light enough to show the interesting cracks in one of my favorite handmade bowls.

With the cool, cloudy weather outside, it’s the perfect afternoon to curl up with a good story and a big pot of tea. Have a great week!

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

~C.S. Lewis